Today, we caught up with Tim Brewer who founded Functionally during a Startup Weekend held at Spacecubed in late 2017. This 54 hour event aims to bring together West Australian designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and experts from all domains to do amazing things in the Perth CBD. As a three day startup crash course, attendees work in teams, alongside industry mentors, to pitch, build and launch a business all in the space of a single weekend.
Below, Tim shares how his company has grown since that eventful weekend and discusses his key takeaways from being a part of Startup Weekend, and why you should take part in the next event on April 5th-7th, 2019.
Why did you participate in Startup Weekend?
I have participated in a few Startup Weekends over the past couple of years, both as a mentor and participant. I love working with different people and seeing how far you can get in a weekend. It's quite amazing what you learn about new people all working together as a team. For me, it was a great way to start with the raw problem which I had personally experienced and a team and see what feedback the market and judges gave.
What idea did you work on during the weekend?
We were working on how to reduce the complexity, misalignment, and dysfunction that happens in most companies as they scale bigger than 20-30 staff.
How far along is the project now?
We have just launched an MVP product (www.functionally.com) into the USA market with early revenue and problem market fit. We have a team of over 10, with three from Startup Weekend still with us and have successfully raised some angel capital to test out our ideas into product.
What was your biggest learning experience from the weekend?
The most important thing I learned is getting access to the right customers to test with and interview as many targets as you can as early (Ask the hard questions). This is the key to building a product that solves a genuine problem and builds momentum in the early stages of the company.
What is the next step of your project?
After a successful launch last month at the world’s largest non-vendor owned SaaS conference, SaaStr, we are now working closely with our early users to build a deeper Product-Market Fit and testing sales channels to learn more about our acquisition metrics and get ready to raise a Seed round if it makes sense.
Why would you recommend Startup Weekend for any budding or experienced entrepreneurs out there?
Whether you are experienced or new to high-velocity startups, I think Startup Weekend is the best short form event to learn fast, keep your skills sharp, build your network and get a taste of what growing a company is like.
Startup Weekend is a 54-hour whirlwind event where you get to be part of building a business in a weekend, Silicon Valley style. It's about pitching, business model creation, coding, designing and market validation all in a friendly and supportive team environment.
All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and teams organically form around the top ideas. All ideas, applications and platforms are welcome – remember that the sky's the limit!
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